SPRING EVENTS FOR 2023 - KEEP AN EYE ON THIS PAGE
We have another exciting year of activities now in the planning stage for the 2023 Spring season.
A Trip to Barbados w/our polo team
Opening Season Tailgating Party at Oxford Polo - March 15
PAT PARELLI - Natural Horseman April 13
Bus Trip to Wellington during the World Cup
Day Bus Trip to Ocala breeders where the future champions are auctioned off-April 18
Educational class at the Barns - TBD
Derby Day Fundraiser - May 6th
Hands on horse grooming - TBD
2023 SPRING OCALA FARM TOUR
2023 SPRING OPENING TAILGATING PARTY
This year’s Spring Opening Party returned to where the Boosters got their start so many years ago – The Oxford Polo Club! Everyone arrived right on time to claim their preferred spot for one of the best things associated with polo – tailgating!!!
Boosters are a competitive bunch so of course there was a tailgating contest to see who would have the best tailgate display. Many forms of “horsepower” backed up to the field and rear hatches opened to serve as backdrops for set up. Of course, tailgating wouldn’t be complete with the sounds of fine tunes being supplied by Joe Hand and Lordy Lyall.
The Shirt Sales team was busy at the t-shirt table selling re-stocked Polo Booster t-shirts – it was a rainbow of colors. Business was brisk, just like the windy temperatures of the day.
The day’s festivities started with a “barrel racing competition” between players of the two teams slated to play the polo match – Oxford Polo and Villages Polo. Haley Winson from Oxford Polo squeaked out the winning time from some pretty good competitors. Next up was the Closest to the Pin competition – won with a perfect shot by Angie Maio from Villages Polo. With each team claiming a victory, this set up a competitive polo match between the two teams to claim the final victory for the day. After trading winning goals back and forth, the match win was claimed by Oxford Polo with a score of five to four.
Our judges walked the line of tailgaters, closely studying each setup to score against five criteria. Competition was stiff and after much consultation and friendly discussions, a consensus was reached. Congratulations go out to the first place winners and new booster member “Gatsby Polo” (Elizabeth Hlavacka and Alia Berg), second place to “Polo Fun” (Mike and Pam Cherpelis) and third place to “Magical Magnolias” (Alex and Margarita Copher). All were awarded prizes which no doubt will be put to good use for tailgating at upcoming matches at the Polo Club.
It was a great day to celebrate the return of Spring Polo, and what better place to be than outside in the sunshine among the trees, horses, players and fellow Booster members.
40 GOAL MATCH @ INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB
The Winner - The Villages Polo Team
2023 DERBY DAY PARTY & AUCTION
This year’s Derby Party, held at the Rohan Regional Recreation Center, was attended by approximately 100 booster members as well as many of the polo players we have watched during the Friday and Sunday matches held this Spring. The players were seated among multiple tables, and it was a great opportunity for the booster members to get to know the players up close and personal. Attendees were entertained throughout the evening with the musical and vocal talents of Joe Hand and Lord Lyall.
Everyone was excited to browse the table of silent auction items – with everything from amazing experience packages to sports equipment to art work and jewelry and everything in between. There was even a last-minute donation by Fross Farms of some of their farm-fresh eggs, with one carton having an egg signed by each one of the polo players at tonight’s festivities. Talk about a one-of-a-kind item. Bidding was competitive on the auction items throughout the evening with multiple winning bids placed at the last possible moment to lock in a win.
After enjoying a delicious dinner and watching the Kentucky Derby, the guest polo players came together for their own horse race with their colorful plush stick ponies. It was a close race with a last minute come-from-behind victory for Miguel Lis-Planells who was able to guide his sable and white pony to victory despite the pony travelling in the wrong direction for several minutes. After the players race was over, booster members were able to substitute for the players to try their hand at guiding their own ponies to victory.
There was a special presentation to the oldest booster member – congratulations Claire for continuing to be such an avid supporter of the boosters’ efforts. Biff Gratton was also recognized and thanked for her dedication and efforts on behalf of the boosters as she steps down from the presidency. Beth Rowley was welcomed as the new incoming president.
While this was certainly a fun evening for all, the proceeds from tonight’s fundraising event will enable the Boosters Club to make a contribution to the Injured Players Fund in the amount of $7,000. Thanks everyone for making this happen.